Expert Witness

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Dr Mike Webster regularly acts as an expert witness in cases involving construction safety, structural safety, CDM 2015, enforcement notice appeals and construction-related personal injury.  He has been instructed by legal teams for both prosecution and defence, has worked on both civil and criminal cases, and has worked on cases under both English and Scottish law.

Mike has acted as expert witness on a range of collapses including reinforcement cages, bridge wing walls, bridge beams, industrial structures, stored glazing, stored frames, structures undergoing demolition and mantelpieces.  Mike has also worked on construction cases involving moving plant and falls from roof edges, through ceilings, through structural openings and though fragile materials.

When something goes wrong on a construction site, such as a collapse, and the case ends up in a dispute, an enforcement notice or a prosecution, some of the issues involved can be highly technical and difficult for a lay person to understand.  This could could make it difficult for those trying the case to reach a decision.  Mike can act as an expert witness and make his knowledge and experience available to litigants, Courts and those resolving disputes to help them understand the issues in a case and thereby reach a sound and just decision.


Areas of expertise

Dr Mike Webster has expertise in:

  • Construction health and safety, risk and the CDM Regulations – he led independent evaluations of CDM 1994 and CDM 2007 and reviewed the use of CDM 2007 in the construction of London 2012.  He has published a range of work and acted as an expert witness on behalf of both defence and prosecution teams in cases involving breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act, the Work at Height Regulations and the CDM Regulations (CDM 1994, CDM 2007 and CDM 2015) during construction projects.
  • Defects, deterioration, durability, safety and the service life of structures – his interest is in combining material, structural and construction issues to minimise risks to the safety, serviceability and whole life cost of concrete structures.  He has published a range of work, developed appraisal and asset management guidance in the UK, Europe and Hong Kong and acted as an expert witness.

Cases worked on

Dr Mike Webster has acted as expert witness under both English and Scottish law.  He has been instructed by both defence and prosecution teams in a range of cases including:

  • Criminal prosecutions under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 – involving a range of new build and refurbishment projects
  • Criminal prosecutions under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations – involving clients, designers, contractors, principal contractors and planning supervisors in a range of construction work under the CDM 1994, CDM 2007 and CDM 2015 Regulations
  • Criminal prosecution for gross negligence manslaughter – involving city centre refurbishment and new build projects
  • Criminal prosecution for gross negligence manslaughter – involving city centre refurbishment and new build projects
  • Appeals of enforcement notices – involving improvement and prohibition notices issued for a range of projects
  • Claims for catastrophic injury – involving coastal infrastructure
  • Claims for defects – involving defects in bridge components
  • Civil case in the Admiralty Court – involving interpretation of the condition of cement cargo to provide information on a shipping collision

Mike has been instructed as an expert witness in cases involving a range of construction and engineering risks.   These have involved a range of collapses including reinforcement cages, bridge wing walls, bridge beams, industrial structures, stored glazing, stored frames, structures undergoing demolition, mantelpieces and temporary works.  Mike has also worked on construction cases involving moving plant and falls from roof edges, through ceilings, through structural openings and though fragile materials.


Instructed by

Mike has been instructed by a range of solicitors including:

  • BLM
  • Bond Pearce
  • Crown Prosecution Service
  • DWF
  • Frisby & Co
  • Holman Fenwick Willan
  • Keoghs
  • Osborne Clarke
  • Shoosmiths
  • VHS Fletchers

These cases have involved counsel from a range of chambers including:

  • 2 Bedford Row
  • 2 Temple Gardens
  • 5 Paper Buildings
  • 6KBW College Hill
  • 6 Pump Court
  • Compass Chambers
  • Crown Office Chambers
  • Fountain Court Chambers
  • Outer Temple Chambers
  • Red Lion Chambers
  • St Philips Chambers

Expert witness services

Mike can help with independent and objective advice on construction safety, structural safety, CDM 2015, construction-related personal injury (including catastrophic injury) and defects in concrete structures by:

  • Initial discussions – to establish what the range of issues are and, potentially, provide an outline opinion
  • Undertaking site visits – to help establish what may have gone wrong and to provide input on what evidence and / or testing would be useful to establish the relevant facts
  • Reviewing evidence – to understand what the key issues are and the implications of those issues for the parties involved
  • Preparing briefing notes and formal reports – to provide an opinion on what has happened, what should have happened, what the significance is of any difference between the two and whether any difference caused the incident
  • Liaising with other experts – to identify which issues can be agreed upon and where there are differences of opinion
  • Giving evidence in court – to help the judge and jury understand the key issues

About and contact details

Dr Mike Webster is a chartered civil and structural engineer with over 30 years’ experience.  He specialises in construction and structural safety, CDM and risk, and founded MPW R&R to provide Consulting, Forensic and Expert Witness services in those areas.

Mike has worked on the design, appraisal and site supervision of building and bridge structures.  He has developed guidance for assessing the safety of existing structures.  Mike led an independent review of CDM 1994 and the independent evaluation of CDM 2007.  He also led the review of the use of CDM 2007 in the construction of London 2012.

Mike has been instructed as an expert witness by both defence and prosecution teams in cases involving allegations of gross negligence manslaughter, breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act and the CDM Regulations and the appeal of enforcement notices.

Mike is the author of around 20 published reports and papers on construction health and safety and the CDM Regulations.  He is also the author of a range of articles on CDM 2015.   He is a member of Structural-Safety and the Institution of Structural Engineers Health and Safety Panel.

Mike is currently a member of the following industry forums relating to his expertise:

If you would like to discuss how he may be able to help, or would like a copy of Mike Webster’s expert witness CV please drop me a line at mike.webster@mpwrandr.co.uk or give me a call on 07969 957471.


 

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